An award-winning team of Toyota forklift truck technicians has vowed not to rest on its laurels in safety development, and has commenced work on a new workplace safety project.
The six-member team from Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) in Moorebank, Sydney, is prototyping new equipment designed to increase safety when working at heights on forklift trucks.
Last October, the TMHA team's industrial tyre changer won the WorkCover NSW SafeWork Award for "best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue" from a field of 37 nominees overall and 11 finalists in its category.
The NSW award earned the TMHA team a place in the annual SafeWork Australia awards and an invitation to the gala awards dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House on Thursday, April 28.
TMHA Executive Vice President and COO Steve Takacs attended the awards ceremony along with Sydney Service Manager Mick Cooper, TMHA Product Safety, Standards & Engineering Manager Stan Palmer, OHSE Coordinator Alan Ward, and workshop team members John Chapman, Zee Khan, Scott Sellack, Mark Sutherland, and Jeff Williamson.
"The category two award recognises excellence in developing and implementing a solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue - one which reduces the risk of a work-related disease or injury," Mick Cooper said.
"CSIRO Livestock Industries won the national award for a liquid nitrogen filling station, but our team came away with the determination to make another major workplace safety step this year.
"The entire workshop team contributed to designing and developing the industrial tyre changer after a colleague was injured while lifting a wheel and tyre for repair.
"They started work in May 2009 and held 'toolbox' meetings in the workshop, guided by the Toyota 'Kaizen' principle of continuous improvement.
"It's an ongoing process; over the years the Kaizen project team have designed jigs and tools to help take the risks out of heavy manual work performed in the workshop and during field service," Mr Cooper said.
TMHA is Toyota's Australian forklift operation has been the leader in safety and raising standards for technicians for the last quarter of a century.
Its safety credits include an easy-to-use swing-out type bracket for LPG bottles on forklift trucks and pioneering TAFE training for forklift technicians.
Nationally, Toyota Material Handling has 247 field-service technicians and 120 technicians in workshops.
The Moorebank operation has 28 staff in the workshop and 65 technicians on the road servicing BT Lift Truck, Raymond and Toyota product.